Think of it this way, though. Kids have to attend so many days of school per year. If the schools close for 2-3 weeks, that means they stay in school until about July.
Remote online learning is good in concept. And works great for college or other very self-motivated people. But think about younger kids. Can you imagine a 1st grader sitting in front of a laptop while their teacher, with their own kids running around in the background, tries to keep their attention. The class will be nothing more than “Billy, pay attention! Sally, what’s your question? I can’t hear you over the other 18 kids yelling at their screens. Johnny, stop throwing the laptop around!” Plus, so much elementary school learning is hands-on and building social skills. With that, no learning will occur for those 2-3 weeks for elementary school kids.
Note that decisions are made at the district level. So while high schoolers, and maybe middle schoolers, can probably handle online leaning, it’s going to be a bad situation for the younger kids.
Edit: I think this was also raised in the comments, but what about the kids who get subsidized lunches because their family is low income. Those kids may not eat. Also for the families who can’t work from home so now need to take days off of work because their kid’s school is closed. There’s a big financial hardship.
The district did add to their FAQ on Friday (maybe the email parents got, it's all running together with daily updates in so many forms) that free/reduced lunch students will still have lunches from district kitchens made available in their neighborhood via neighborhood programs and schools.
Edit: I still agree, and in a Facebook comment thread with someone arguing "it worked for Northshore!!!!" dug up the district size (21k in Northshore vs 58k in SPS) and someone else the free lunch comparison (20s% in Northshore and 40s% in SPS). It's a complex problem and the district has to decide for everyone. Nobody will be happy no matter what.
TLDR; Very different story for the techie working from home and the middle class worker who isn’t.
Kids aren’t at risk for the virus and the county isn’t asking them to close. And all these schools going online aren’t gonna teach kids anything (take home finals lol). Plus that doesn’t work for young children.
It costs a lot of money to transfer everything online and the wage workers (who are not the demographic to be in this sub!) can’t afford to take this economic hit by the virus and pay for childcare (which would put their kids in a room of 20 anyways) now that their kids aren’t in school. Can’t even send the kids to grandmas cause grandma is actually at risk!
Exactly. The majority of people I see clamoring for the schools to close are the parents that can easily stay at home and take care of them while still making money from their job. That's the minority, for sure.
In addition, it's possible a lot of kids have already had it (and possibly staff as well). At my son's school, where I work, we had tons of students and a handful of staff out in Jan-Feb with fevers and respiratory infections. The adults who had it were sicker for a longer stretch while most of the kids were out for two or three days. Kind of sounds like it might have been the same virus.
The results coming out of labs suggest that COVID-19 started spreading Seattle only in mid January. Only a couple dozen people had it by the end of January; there's no way is what was spreading at your school.
The flu was bad this year. What you're describing sounds exactly like that.
If your whole school had it, it would be spread massively throughout the city and you'd have ground zero at your school just like we have at the facility in Kirkland.
Please stop postulating on things like this. It's not helpful.
Because "started" means that there was literally one case in the Seattle area. There were probably twelve cases by the end of January. What seems more plausible: that they were at your school, or that the flu was going around?
One case that is confirmed. You do know that it's assumed far more people have had it and they simply didn't know? 80% of cases are non-symptomatic or have mild symptoms, You have no way to say there was "literally" only one case here.
>80% of cases are non-symptomatic or have mild symptoms
"Mild symptoms" includes solid flu-like symptoms which knock people out for a week but don't require hospitalization. Only about 1 percent are asymptomatic. https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/06/were-learning-a-lot-about-the-coronavirus-it-will-help-us-assess-risk/
The evidence for a single origin is in the genetics. All sequenced cases derive from a single source. It's possible there's a second and/or more recent source floating around, but it's clearly not the driving force behind this outbreak. Read the post I linked to and Trevor Bedford's Twitter if Your are interested.
This will be a slow-motion catastrophe. It's a public health emergency and the school district should be ordered to close by the health department when deemed appropriate. The decision shouldn't be theirs to make because they are not healthcare professionals.
I work in a Seattle Public School program. Cleaning is NOT enough. As far as I know, there has been no added manpower or hours for cleaning from a custodial staff that only cleans classrooms once every 3 days! No one can clean except the custodial staff as per their contract. They are really doing their best, but they can barely cope with all the cleaning that needs to be done regularly. The kids are doing their best, but they are not the greatest at washing hands thoroughly, catching their coughs and sneezes or communicating clearly when they aren't feeling well. Also, it looks like their cases are so mild that they can spread it to many others while not feeling that sick themselves. We have many older staff members and at-risk family members that will become sick because their is no way this is containable when the schools stay open. Plans could be made - should be made - to take care of those children most in need. But I do not see this ending well at all.
Many of our staff are older and more at risk. I myself am 6 weeks from retirement. I have a husband with heart-disease and an adult daughter who has multiple health challenges at home. I strip every day and shower when I get home. I bag my laundry. I sanitize everything I can at least once a day. I'm very scared of bringing this home.
>However - they can transfer it home to more at risk adults.
Do you have any details on this? All I can find is the [WHO report](https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/who-china-joint-mission-on-covid-19-final-report.pdf) which says:
>"Of note, people interviewed by the Joint Mission Team could not recall episodes in which transmission occurred from a child to an adult."
But also notes that they're rather short on data in that respect.
Ok found some more details. New report says kids are getting the disease at the same rate, but are presenting fewer symptoms. Doesn't look like they have data on how contagious the kids (with the milder symptoms) are:
My 1st grader had his science fair and a field trip next week cancelled. I'm also supposed to chaperone for a field trip for a different school in April and was told that it's a "wait and see" situation by the teacher. It may be up to the individual schools if you are still planning on April trips, but since the language used by SPS does specify "overnight field trips" maybe our 1st grade teacher jumped the gun.
From the [SPS COVID-19 site](https://www.seattleschools.org/district/calendars/news/what_s_new/coronavirus_update)
We have started the process of canceling all events that bring large groups of students, adults, and community members together in response to Public Health guidance and in an abundance of caution. This includes, but is not limited to, large school community events, school day assemblies, all student travel, and activities outside of school hours (i.e. overnight field trips and competitions). These enhanced restrictions go into effect on March 9 until further notice. Out of state and international travel is canceled through the end of the school year.
While adults are working from home out of abundance of caution, and UW is going remote for its staff and students, our children are being put into harms way due to the idea of "equity." Combine this with the removal of honors and advanced classes at Seattle schools, this city is playing down to the lowest common denominator in the name of equity and equal outcome 🤦♂️
“Many of our families rely on our schools and staff for basic needs, including regular meals, health care, and child care. If our schools shut down, vulnerable families are at a higher risk of being negatively impacted. Closing schools is a last resort and will be done with great care, transparency, and in partnership with Public Health.”
I work in the Edmonds district. They are saying the same, but if we made it through next week without at least some closures, I would be very surprised. The more tests they do, the clearer it will become that we need to take this more seriously.
They're canceling events, starting [on Monday](https://www.edmonds.wednet.edu/news/what_s_new/a_message_regarding_c_o_v_i_d-19). Because gatherings of more than 10 people at a time is bad. But classrooms don't count. I guess.
We just received notification that two separate families in our Elementary School in N. Seattle have had possible exposure and they are still planning on keeping doors open for Monday. Obviously SPS currently has zero plans to be proactive, and prefer to remain reactive.
I can only imagine the number of angry/freaked out parents emailing back at this point.
This is dumb. Children get sick frequently and are able to make the spread easier. The teachers and staff will all get this. Luckily, kids don’t seem to be affected as much which is good, but... I still worry. This is the wrong move.
Federal Way said they have no plans to close unless there is a confirmed case at a school (teacher there). It was stated they are trying to figure out a plan as a good chunk of our students don’t have access to internet at home as well as parents being unable to provide childcare. Our parent/teacher conferences are a week and a half from now and have yet to be cancelled either.
When I lived in San Diego we had neighbors who had a school aged daughter. Apparently most of their homework was online so they were able to get a deal through a local internet provider for $10 a month. If only something like that could be worked out